There's a "Vote YES" side that argues that the charter updates are long overdue, with some of them needed to clean up unintended consequences from the changes for direct election of the mayor approved in 2012, and others needed to get the city charter in conformance with state and federal law. This side wants you to vote "YES" to every single one of the 83 amendments. This side's spokesman is
And there's a "Vote NO" side that doesn't like how the charter review process was conducted, thinks the charter amendments are designed to legalize sketchy business practices, and, well, doesn't like pretty much anything the city does. This side's spokesman is the rebellious biker Johnny played by Marlon Brando in the movie "The Wild One".
I'm here to help you navigate between these all-or-nothing positions.Mildred: "Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?"
Johnny: "Whadda you got?"
Source: The Wild One.
Like I said, there are 83 propositions. Don't blindly vote "YES" to everything; don't blindly vote "NO" to everything. As Tim Gunn tells the designers on Project Runway, "Choose wisely." (It's my guilty pleasure; so sue me.)
Enough prelude. Here are my detailed recommendations for how to vote:
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 1-10
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 11-20
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 21-30
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 31-40
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 41-50
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 51-60
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 61-70
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 71-83
- City Charter Amendments: Upon Further Review
If it's too much to read all that, here's a nice, short cheat sheet you can print off and take to the polls with you.
|YES||1,2,6,7,9,11-14,20-23,25-32,34-41,43,45-51,53-66,69,70-83||Cleanup, clarification or minor change|
|YES||3,4||Calls special election for council vacancies|
|NO||5||Restricts public's right to attend and speak at meetings|
|NO||8||Permits unlimited contractual term for city manager|
|NO||10,15,17,18,67||Insufficient information to judge|
|16||Removes cap on total indebtedness|
|YES||19||Calls for periodic charter review|
|YES||24||Pays council members $100 per meeting|
|YES||33||Makes city attorney also municipal court prosecutor|
|NO||42||Loosens definition of what are emergency expenditures|
|44||Restricts public's use of referendum|
|52||Restricts public's use of recall|
|YES||68||Removes cap on franchise fees|
And if even that table is too much to cut out and take to the voting booth with you, just remember how to vote on the most consequential amendments: Vote YES on 3 and 4 (these increase the public's powers). Vote NO on 5. And, after further review, vote YES on 44 and 52 (even though these restrict the public's powers).
Remember to vote.